A Generation | Chicago Reader

A Generation

Andrzej Wajda was only 16 when he joined the resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Poland, about the age of the hero in this gritty 1954 debut feature. A series of crane shots begins high above a Warsaw slum and ends on ragtag Stach (Tadeusz Lomnicki), who robs German supply trains with his pals. When one of them is killed, he takes a job at a furniture factory, where he's mentored by an underground Marxist organizer and learns that some people in the firm are collaborators or war profiteers. Wajda already shows remarkable technique, using zooms and canted angles to suggest heightened emotional states, and his chase scenes are adroitly paced. With Urszula Modrzynska, Zbigniew Cybulski, and a young Roman Polanski. In Polish and German with subtitles. 83 min.


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